When you’re considering hosting an event, you may be quick to think “My business isn’t big enough to hold an event large enough to make a difference. Where am I going to find the budget?”

That’s your first mistake! Events, when done right, are a successful technique for marketing, engagement and networking. Bigger isn’t always better, even when you have the budget. What’s most important is spending your event budget on what will make the strongest impact conveying your message to the audience you need.

The need to track expenses under a microscope can inspire creativity that results in an event your attendees will remember for all the right reasons. For example: here’s a cool idea that breaks tradition- re-invent a “ribbon cutting” ceremony and instead, consider having the ribbons fall from the ceiling on a grand scale with a kabuki drop. This is something that can incorporate an element of surprise your audience surely won’t expect.

Here are our top 10 do’s and don’ts on how to spend your event budget to create maximum impact with minimum headaches:

1. Plan Plan Plan

Don’t treat events like an afterthought. Plan ahead. Budget for them. Be strategic about objectives. The event should have a business-driving purpose beyond “it’s nice to have a holiday party.”

2. Drinks don’t have to cost a hand and a leg

Don’t assume that a hosted bar, in which you pay a set amount per guest, is the best deal. In most cases, a consumption bar, in which you pay for what people actually drank, is a more cost effective option. On a hosted bar you are paying the same charge if a person drinks soft drinks all night or a string of Long Island Ice Teas.

3. Those fees add up

Don’t forget to include all the additional fees into the budget. Hosting your event at a hotel can definitely burn a hole in your pocket. The fees are endless – chef fees, bartender fees, service fees in addition to charges for power, loading docks, security, etc. Do some research into which fees are negotiable, what days are the cheapest and the best event spaces to use that won’t break your pocket and would still meet all your event needs

4. Let’s go back to the days of snail mail

Instead of an email invitation, design an invitation to stand out and send it out via mail. This not so common alternative is pretty inexpensive and your guests will definitely appreciate the extra effort.

5. Music

It used to be that a live band was the prestigious thing to have but DJs are hot again. A great DJ is more fun than an average band at half the price. Design a cool stage set for the DJ so they can make a great visual as well as keep the energy high.

6. Pay to play

Avoid major fines after the event is over by making sure you have music licensing in place up front, whether DJ or live music. (You can contact the Copyright Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago COTT for more information on this.)

7. Linen on the table

Do use linens to the floor. Linens that touch the ground are more appealing to the eye. It is also an inexpensive way to add color to an event. Simple, but sooo effective.

8. Forget the swag!

How many mugs, beer glasses and t-shirts do we really need? Instead of handing out party favors and swag at your corporate event, add an experiential aspect where people can get actively involved in what your event’s goals.

9. Less talking, more watching

Here’s another cool idea that breaks tradition- don’t have a guest speaker or talking head address the crowd from the front of the room. Instead, take those same dollars and invest less in creating a compelling two-minute video featuring your employees and senior leaders. They’ll appreciate the extra effort!

10. Keep it short and sweet

Don’t disregard the two-minute rule for videos. There are almost no exceptions to this. Videos should be less than three minutes, otherwise you risk losing your audience’s attention.

There is a reason commercials are a minute or less. The most successful viral videos on YouTube are short. Shoot less b-roll and spend more time in the editing room. Make the most of this opportunity to brand your company!

With these 10 Do’s and Don’ts…we’re only scratching the surface. Don’t let the fear of having a tight budget deter you from taking the next step in achieving your business event goals.

Anything is possible with fresh, creative perspectives, strong negotiations and finding unique ways to cut costs!

At Signature Hall, we have over 9 years of experience in hosting corporate, business and networking events. Give us a call at 222-8896 to set up a site visit to see if our venue fits your event needs. Also, don’t forget to inquire about our days of availability and our weekday rates!